LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||20/MAI/2006 12:50 PM|
If you use "the", you are talking about something specific.
I like classical music. = I like classic music in general.
I like the classical music. = You have played three CDs for me; one had classical music, one had folk music, and one had jazz. You ask me which of the three I like, and I tell you that I like the classical music. Am I saying that I like classical music in general? No. I'm talking about a specific music, one of three.
I like cake. = I like cake in general.
I like the cake. = There are cake, pies, cookies, and puddings on the kitchen table. The pies, cookies, and puddings are good, but I prefer the cake. Am I talking about cake in general? No. I'm talking about the cake on the table in the kitchen. It's very specific.
I like girls. = I like girls in general.
I like the girls. = I like the girls that you just introduced me to. One is called Mary, one Sue Ellen, and one Sandra. They are very nice and I like them. There is nothing general or theoretical about them. I've met them, I can describe them, and I even know their names.
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